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Lung cancer claims the lives of more people than any other cancer worldwide. In the US, lung cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer. In 2018, there were approximately 234,030 new cases diagnosed and over 154,000 lung cancer related deaths. Lung cancers are histologically (microscopic tissue structure) defined as small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), accounting for 15% and 85% of cases, respectively. Adenocarcinoma is the most common subtype of NSCLC. Because early lung cancer is largely asymptomatic, more than half of the cases have metastasized at the time of diagnosis.
The treatment landscape for metastatic lung cancer has changed significantly with the development of targeted oral therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICPI) therapy. Unlike chemotherapy, targeted oral therapy blocks the growth and spread of cancer cells; not all cells. ICPIs help the immune system distinguish between cancer and normal cells, allowing the immune system to attack the cancer cells. Like most new oncology treatments, ICPIs were initially approved for use later in the sequence of treatment options – but are now standard of care, first-line treatments for some patients. This article will not review ICPIs, but instead focus on the targeted oral therapies available for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC. More patients are receiving longterm, targeted oral therapies due to extended progression-free survival with these medications compared to chemotherapy.
This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc. The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased, balanced information to health care practitioners.
Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.
The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-19-001-H01-P
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Adjunct Clinical Professor
Assistant Clinical Professor
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Senior Editorial Advisor
Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
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